A Medical Device Daily

ICx Technologies (Arlington, Virginia), a developer of sensor technologies for homeland security, force protection and commercial applications, reported receiving a $4.9 million, Phase IIb R&D contract under the Department of Homeland Security's "Detect to Protect" project, designed to develop rapid sensors that can influence actions to limit exposure to an attack involving biological agents.

The objective of Phase IIb is to finish prototype development for a system that will be able to detect and identify a list of 10 bioterrorism threats, including bacteria, viruses, and toxins, all with a response time of 15 minutes or less.

The company said the process is automated and includes the efficient extraction of DNA and RNA from an environmental sample, purification of the DNA/RNA, amplification via multiplex polymerase chain reaction techniques, and identification of the threat-specific DNA sequences.

The platform can also concurrently perform immunoassays to detect toxins in less than 10 minutes and the process is "amenable" to portable battery-power operation.

ICx develops sensors that detect and identify chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats.